She cradles his soft innocence as he suckles at her breast, nurturing him. All she feels is a deep unconditional love, an overwhelming love she never knew existed. He is her world, the total sum of her.
As he grows he will be nurtured by his culture and he will turn against her. She will become what she was and perhaps always will be, the nothingness of that that is woman.
You ask her of this and she softly replies: It is my culture, it is who I am, it is all that I know. Confronted, she returns the imaginary veil to her face blinding her vision, a veil that will mask her, mask who she is who she dreams to be, thus forever binding herself to her own fate.
But she will feel safe.
Sumana at Poets United has us writing of (yesterdays) International Women’s Day whose campaign theme is: Be Bold for Change. Above is my offering of which I am uncertain as to whether it is poetry or prose or prose poetry. I have difficulties with the concept of prose poetry…please see previous post.
In my lifetime I cannot recall any occasion I felt second class as in gender inequality. But perhaps I am blind to the subtleties’ of it, perhaps I was gently and not deliberately conditioned into accepting a specific role, a role passed down in generations…I don’t know. That said I do know that gender inequality exists.
In some cultures for a woman to express boldness for change would be tantamount to signing her own death warrant. It is not right but that is the way it is, in these cultures women live in fear (of men).
Will International Women’s Day change a thing – probably not? Things will carry on as they are. From an IWD page:
Some regions should expect to see their gender gaps narrow faster than the global rate of change. Among these are South Asia, with a projected closing of the gender gap in 46 years, Western Europe in 61 years, Latin America in 72 years and Sub-Saharan Africa, due to achieve parity in 79 years. Projections for other world regions suggest closing their gaps will take longer than 100 years, namely 129 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 146 years in East Asia and the Pacific, and 149 years in Eastern Europe and
Central Asia. Given the slow progress over
the last decade, the gender gap in North America
is expected to close in 158 years. None of these forecasts are foregone
conclusions. Instead they reflect the current state of progress and serve as a
call to action to policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate gender
On a more cheerful note, please watch the video below, a video by the excellent Harry Enfield & Co. Things have moved on for some of us, maybe not enough but one day that day might come…
Photo header image: Courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons
Author: John Thomson (1837–1921)